As Fianna Fail Group Leader on Dublin City Council I am recommending to my colleagues that we abstain from the election this evening of a Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor for Dublin City.
The role of Lord Mayor of Dublin City is powerless, expensive, undemocratic and in the current economic environment a political indulgence too far.
The current role of Lord Mayor of Dublin is purely ceremonial, it has no real power and is not fit for purpose.
The Lord Mayors office will cost Dublin City close to €1million this year. It is entirely inappropriate at a time of significant financial difficulty that politicians should be rewarding one of their own with an expensive year of publicity, pomp and circumstances at a cost of close to €1million to ordinary Dubliners.
It is undemocratic. The reality is the Lord Mayoralty of Dublin is in the gift of the largest political parties. Political parties use the office to raise the profile of members they think will make good future Dail candidates This means that in a city of more than half a million people a person with less than 1,000 votes can become Lord Mayor as long as they support the right political parties.
It is not acceptable that we as leaders in the city condone or support such waste of public funds.
If Dublin is to compete in a global economy we need a directly elected Mayor for the City with executive powers to make changes and decisions that are in the best interests of the citizens of the city.
It supports all the worst prejudices about politicians that at the Annual General Meeting of Dublin City Council we will not discuss the 1000s of people in need of proper housing in the city or the fact that Dublin City Council cannot afford to repair roads, paint lampposts or pick up rubbish. No, the only thing that will be discussed at the AGM is which politician’s ego will benefit from a €1million injection this year.
The Government promised a directly elected Mayor with real powers for the City.
Labour City Councillors would do themselves and the City a great service if they were to apply themselves to stopping their colleagues in Government from stripping the City Council of its funding and its powers and instead getting some real support for real local Government.